Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 133
Soldier Protective Clothing and Equipment: Feasibility of Chemical Testing Using a Fully Articulated Robotic Mannequin 8 Overarching Conclusions and Recommendations The feasibility of meeting the Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin (PETMAN) system threshold and objective requirements were considered individually and as an integrated whole. Specific conclusions and recommendations were presented in the preceding chapters of this report. Here, three overarching issues are presented for Product Director, Test Equipment, Strategy, and Support (PD TESS) to consider as it seeks to develop a PETMAN system: priority-setting among PETMAN requirements, contractor qualifications, and a complementary option to a PETMAN system. Each is discussed below. PRIORITY SETTING AMONG PETMAN REQUIREMENTS The Committee on Full-System Testing and Evaluation of Personal Protection Equipment Ensembles in Simulated Chemical-Warfare Environments was charged with assessing the feasibility of a PETMAN system on the basis of all delineated Department of Defense (DOD) system design requirements (see Appendix B). The PETMAN requirements cover all the desired and required features of mannequin function with little or no priority-setting. PD-TESS indicated that a concurrent exercise was being carried out to set priorities among the requirements but that the results would probably not be available in time to inform the PETMAN feasibility study. The feasibility study concludes the following: Conclusion 8-1: Taken independently, most of the PETMAN threshold requirements can be met with current technologies or incremental de-
OCR for page 134
Soldier Protective Clothing and Equipment: Feasibility of Chemical Testing Using a Fully Articulated Robotic Mannequin velopments of existing technologies (see detailed discussions in chapters 2 through 6). Conclusion 8-2: Several options are available for chemical-agent sensing, robotic actuation, and overall system design. Conclusion 8-3: Using currently available technologies, it may be possible to meet some of the threshold requirements in a nontethered system, but largely due to available battery technology such a system would be limited to an operating time of two hours. The other threshold and objective requirements may be difficult or impossible to meet with a nontethered mannequin. Conclusion 8-4: Integrating all the objective requirements will be a major challenge for design and implementation of a full PETMAN system. Conclusion 8-5: Meeting the threshold requirement of a tethered system, which would reduce the number of subsystems housed in the mannequin, is feasible. In light of those conclusions, PD TESS should take the following actions: Recommendation 8-1: To achieve greater success with the future proposal solicitation for a PETMAN system, PD TESS should set priorities among the PETMAN requirements according to the program objectives. Recommendation 8-2: PD TESS should adopt a phased approach to the development of the PETMAN system, first addressing the high-risk areas as identified in the study (see Chapter 6) and then deciding on the achievable objectives according to the priorities it has set. CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS The development of a PETMAN system is a large undertaking for any organization. The development of individual components—in particular the robotics capability—will require considerable resources and expertise. Simulating human physiology in addition to developing a robot may be beyond the means of a single group. On the basis of that assessment, the study concludes the following:
OCR for page 135
Soldier Protective Clothing and Equipment: Feasibility of Chemical Testing Using a Fully Articulated Robotic Mannequin Conclusion 8-6: The design and development of a PETMAN system will require a multidisciplinary effort that encompasses expertise in computer software engineering, robot design, mannequin design, materials science and engineering, human physiologic simulation, sensor technologies, and systems integration. PD TESS should take the following action in connection with assessing the qualifications of the company or companies chosen to develop a PETMAN system: Recommendation 8-3: The primary contractor should have demonstrated capabilities in systems integration. Recommendation 8-4: A workshop should be organized to inform the proposing groups fully of the objective and threshold requirements. The invitation list should include system integrators and developers and suppliers of component technologies for the mannequin, materials, and sensors. A COMPLEMENTARY APPROACH The current Man-in-Simulant Test (MIST) protocol evaluates individual protection ensembles (IPE) on soldiers rather than mannequins, and this offers the benefit of testing the effects of actual human movements and physiologic conditions. However, one of the major shortcomings of MIST is its method of under-ensemble data acquisition. It has been shown (see Chapters 2, 5, and 7) that recreating human-like movement, respiration, perspiration, and body proportions will be difficult and expensive. In contrast, simulant chemicals mimic almost all the physical features of actual chemical agents. On the basis of that assessment, the study concludes the following: Conclusion 8-7: Some of the technologies reviewed in this report—such as real-time sensing of chemicals, temperature, and humidity—could be used in the MIST to provide real-time leak detection and characterization of the microenvironments in the protective garments. Conclusion 8-8: Some technologies are sufficiently mature to support construction of a whole-body suit for a human—a sensor-integrated body suit (SIBS)—outfitted for real-time sensing of chemicals, body temperature, heart rate, cardiographic characteristics, and humidity without the need for a tether (see Chapter 7 for discussion of the SIBS). Such a suit would allow substantial improvement in the MIST with-
OCR for page 136
Soldier Protective Clothing and Equipment: Feasibility of Chemical Testing Using a Fully Articulated Robotic Mannequin out the expense and risk associated with a fully developed PETMAN system and at a small fraction of costs in money and time. The only limitation would be the inability to use actual chemical agents. In light of those conclusions, PD TESS should take the following action: Recommendation 8-5: A SIBS should be seriously considered as an update of the MIST and as complementary to the proposed PETMAN system. Unless there is an absolute requirement of all the capabilities associated with the proposed PETMAN system, this sensor-integrated approach would provide many of the key capabilities in the interim. Such an approach would provide substantial improvements over current testing while the critical paths and absolute requirements for PETMAN development are explored. It would allow testing to continue with human subjects and allow collection of data on a broader array of human characteristics than will be possible with the PETMAN system. In light of the full list of requested functionalities of the PETMAN system, it will be difficult to design a nontethered, free-standing, 50thpercentile-male robotic test mannequin that can operate continuously beyond the available battery capacity of two hours. Tests longer than two hours will require reduced motion, a recharging or refueling method, a tether, or other approaches that would require research extending beyond the sponsor’s desired development timeframe. The main design challenge for the PETMAN system is the integration of all system components (power, control, sensors, perspiration, respiration, actuation, and so on) within the size constraints. Setting priorities among the PETMAN systems requirements, improving guidance for proposing contractors, and considering complementary test approaches with simulants and real-time sensing will enhance the ability of PD TESS to develop a PETMAN system and ultimately improve the protection capability of IPE against chemical-warfare agents.